Ever since the release of their last two group offerings, 2007’s 8 Diagrams and 2009’s Chamber Music, the Wu-Tang Clan have been affiliated with some rather dubious offshoot projects. However, this all changes on the group’s latest not-quite-official effort, properly dubbed Legendary Weapons, which features much of the iconic crew’s usual suspects, including Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, RZA, Method Man, Capadonna, U-God and Inspectah Deck.
On the album’s opener, “Start The Show,” Raekwon the Chef and RZA do just what the title suggests, over the subwoofer blaster, proving the lyrical blades remain on point. As with most Wu offerings, this compilation is filled with many martial arts inspired skits, ultimately emanating that vintage Wu feel. This is also evident on the head-knocking “Laced Cheeba,” where Sean Price delivers a fierce verse while Ghostface does his one-two, boastfully kicking seamy lines like “I slit ya face like a Dutch Master.” One of the LP’s highlight tracks is “Drunk Tongue” where Killa Sin strong-arms the Fizzy Womack produced cut. “Meteor Hammer” brings Ghostface and upstart Action Bronson—who often draws comparisons to Ghost for his voice and flow—to the same track, and the result is outstanding. Despite all the highlights, one of the overbearing burdens is the lack of the RZA’s production, even if much of the sonic stylings are clearly RZA-derived. His absence throughout, save for his MC duties on “Only the Rugged Survive,” is undeniably felt.
Even without being a completely authentic offering from the Killa Beez, Legendary Weapons is a solid listen that can hold fans over and shows the Wu’s weapons remain razor sharp, leaving hope for an official LP. —Ralph Bristout